Michael McGuire's picture

Blonde Saison Brett

July, 2017
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Blonde Saison Brett by Holy City Brewing is a Saison brewed with brettanomyces yeast (brett) and lactobacillus and was judged as a Wild Specialty Beer (BJCP sub-style 28C). This hybrid beer has lots going on, and virtually all of it is good. For starters, it poured light pale and mostly cloudy into the glass with a fizzy head with little retention, not surprising given its wheat-heavy grain bill and funky yeasts. The aroma led with both sour notes from the lacto-brett and sweet ones from the malt and possible brewing sugars used. The flavor profile also combined sweet and sour elements while the barnyard characteristics often imparted by brett were present but muted, thereby increasing this beer’s appeal to drinkers of less-extreme sour/funky beers. There was also a pleasantly acidic aftertaste.

Overall this interesting beer successfully, i.e., harmoniously, combined the strengths of a traditional saison with decidedly non-traditional yeasts. The result should be enjoyed by a fairly wide spectrum of Belgian ale drinkers and lovers of the current and recent waves of American brewers’ experimentation with brettanomyces and other yeasts developed with bacterial (here, lactobacillus) or fungal contributions to impart distinctive flavors to their beers.